NEW YORK -- The Yankees have utilized different formulas during their charge to the top of the American League East standings. With Sonny Gray struggling to record outs on Friday evening, the offense was set to slug, scoring deep drives from Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge.Torres hit his third Major
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have utilized different formulas during their charge to the top of the American League East standings. With Sonny Gray struggling to record outs on Friday evening, the offense was set to slug, scoring deep drives from Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge.
Torres hit his third Major League home run in the third inning off Kendall Graveman, extending his hitting streak to nine games, and Judge mashed a long three-run homer off the right-hander in the fifth. It wasn't enough to rally the Yankees, however, as they absorbed a 10-5 loss to Oakland.
"We always feel like we're in every game, especially once we got within one [run]," Judge said. "We just weren't able to string a lot of hits together. That was the big thing tonight; Graveman kept us off balance, and their bullpen was able to come in and do the same thing. We just weren't able to string a couple of hits together and get a big rally going."
Ranked as the Yankees' top prospect and No. 5 overall by MLB Pipeline, Torres' shot to the left-field bullpen came on a barreled 0-1 sinker, driving the ball a Statcast™ projected 408 feet. The blast came off Torres' bat at 104.9 mph with a launch angle of 30 degrees.
Torres is batting .400 (12-for-30) with three homers and 10 RBIs over his hitting streak. At 21 years and 149 days old, he is the youngest Yankee since Mickey Mantle in 1952 (20 years, 257 days) to tally a hit streak of at least nine games. Torres is also the youngest Yankee to hit three homers in his first 19 games.
"He does so many things on the field on a nightly basis, in every way," manager Aaron Boone said. "Defensively, I think he's helped stabilize our club. He's been so good out there; dynamic, even, at second base. The at-bat quality on a nightly basis. This guy, he can just play. Some guys can just go play and do the right things. He's got a knack for that and a feel for that, and it's been fun to watch him perform."
Meanwhile, there is nothing new about Judge crushing the ball with authority. His blast came with Miguel Andujar and Brett Gardner aboard, reaching the front of the right-field bleachers. Judge tied Didi Gregorius for the team lead in homers with his 10th, which Statcast™ projected to come off the bat at 111.1 mph and travel 391 feet.
Long after their deep drives had landed, Torres and Judge were focal points in a seventh-inning rally that could have shifted the outcome of Friday's game. With runners at first and second and none out, Torres elected to drop a bunt that moved the runners along.
A run came home when Judge worked a bases-loaded walk against Lou Trivino, trimming Oakland's lead to 6-5, but that was all the Yanks could get. Boone said he was OK with the play, reasoning that Torres was trying to bunt for a hit, with a worst-case scenario of advancing the runners.
"I tried to help my team," Torres said. "I saw the opportunity to move the runners. … I feel good because I helped my team."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.